Banking and fintech are leading the race in digital transformation: Dell EMC

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Mumbai: Alok Ohrie, president and managing director (India commercial business) at Dell EMC, and Rajesh Janey, president and managing director-Enterprise (India and SAARC) at Dell EMC in a conversation with Leslie D’Monte, national technology editor of Mint, underscore why businesses across countries are embracing digital transformation and why India tops the digital transformation index. Edited excerpts:

How prepared is the Indian market when we speak about digital transformation?

Ohrie: Digital transformation at its core has the Internet of everything, which defines the way we live, interact and work. If we look at the talent pool in India, it continues to grow and serve global markets. The intent of the government is towards digital, as we hear about smart cities and other initiatives to improve governance. With regard to maturity, we had commissioned a study covering 4,000 CIOs (chief information officers) in 16 countries and 12 industries. Findings reveal that 78% of them feared digital start-ups and 52% of them said disruption will hit them. Within that, we looked at defining the readiness and openness of various businesses across various countries for embracing digital transformation and India tops that digital transformation index.

What trends do you see when you interact with customers?

Janey: Every disruption has opportunity hidden somewhere and I will talk of India specifically. As many as 90% of Indians surveyed said they have seen disruption, and 26% said they don’t know what their industry will look like after three-five years. The key point here is that 57% said that customer demand is driving this change.

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Which sectors are laggards in digital, and which ones are ahead of the curve?

Ohrie: Banking and fintech are leading. Telecom, media and entertainment are next. Broadly speaking, these verticals are much ahead, but it doesn’t mean others are not experimenting with digital: they are picking up smaller projects to see how it pans out.

What kind of advice do you give your clients in the context of digital transformation?

Janey: The whole journey of transformation needs to be broken into three blocks. One is IT transformation. Another is workforce transformation. The third is security transformation. Why is there need for transformation? The human attention span is now 8 seconds, 1 second lower than that of goldfish. Second, we want to work wherever, whenever. Third, the amount of data being generated is very large, with 90% of the total data in existence having been created only in the last two years. Studies show there are one million cyberattacks every day. Put all this in context, and what we need is the triple transformation.

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How can managements ensure that the digital transformation message percolates throughout the workforce?

Ohrie: It starts with commitment. Once an organization sees management supervision, people start taking it seriously. Secondly, a lot of it sticks around because of customer focus, since customers are looking for better, superior experience. Thirdly, having a proper innovation environment helps.

Demonetization, though wanting in execution, can help digital transformation. Your view.

Janey: I would say demonetization is IT transformation on a larger scale. First, there should be enough notes, equipment and merchants. Second, there should be workforce transformation: the entire population should be trained on how to go cashless. And the third is absolute security transformation, because 60-70% of people are not even literate.